Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
Unknown/from Washingtoniana Division, D.C. Public Library

A reader tweets us:

“The woman behind #DC #cherryblossoms: Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore. Her story should be told!”

From Wikipedia:

“It was on their return to Washington, D.C. in 1885 that Eliza had her famous idea of planting Japanese cherry trees in the capital. Scidmore found little interest in her cherry tree idea, but more in her impressions of Alaska, the subject of her first book, Alaska, Its Southern Coast and the Sitkan Archipelago (1885). She joined the National Geographic Society in 1890, soon after its founding, and became a regular correspondent and later the Society’s first female trustee…

Scidmore’s cherry blossom scheme began to bear fruit when incoming first lady Helen Taft took an interest in the idea in 1909. With the first lady’s active support, plans moved quickly, but the first effort had to be aborted due to concerns about infestation. Subsequent efforts proved successful, however, and today many visitors enjoy the sakura of West Potomac Park and other areas of the capital, particularly during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Ryan Chiachiere

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2010 ride courtesy of President Lincoln’s Cottage

From an email:

“Details: Lincoln’s Last Ride, Monday April 13, 12-3:30 pm
Abraham Lincoln last rode out to the Soldiers’ Home on April 13, 1865, one day before his assassination. We will retrace Lincoln’s final commute on horseback from the White House to the Soldiers’ Home. Horses and riders from the Fort Myer Caisson Platoon and from the Goshen Hounds Hunt club will participate in this event.

You are invited to salute the ride from *viewing stations and sidewalks along the route, and to welcome the horses and riders to the Cottage at the ride’s end. A brief ceremony will take place at 3:00 pm outside of the Cottage following the ride.

Route: 15th Street NW > Vermont Ave NW > Rhode Island Ave NW > Georgia Ave NW > Rock Creek Church Road NW > Arrive at President Lincoln’s Cottage.

-*Shaw Library plaza, Rhode Island Ave NW and 7th St NW
-*Howard University plaza, Fairmont St NW and Georgia Ave NW
Ride begins at 12 PM. 3:30 PM end time is approximate”

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If you have a photo of a neat find from your house or place of work please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail.com thanks. To those who have I sent – I promise I’m working through the queue!

“Found in the original gas fireplace of my Park View house (built 1916):

Old playing cards
What appears to be a handheld roulette wheel
Tooth powder container
(Not pictured: Mummified mouse)”

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If you have a photo of a neat find from your house or place of work please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail.com thanks. To those who have I sent – I promise I’m working through the queue!

“Here are the cool things we have found in our place in Mt Pleasant. Clearly kids have lived here.

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The soldier was buried and partially stuck to a concrete deck post footing. We think he is early WW2, or maybe between the wars.

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The aircraft flash cards were behind baseboards. WW2. They are each about 2 inches across.

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The marbles just keep showing up inside and in the yard.

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The tasting cups were in the attic. One is inscribed twice, the other just once.”

“Dear PoPville,

The complement man was a staple in Adams Morgan and Dupont, but hasn’t been seen in years. Does anyone have an update? He made tons of people feel good, so the streets miss him.”

Ed. Note: I remember him well from Adams Morgan – it’s been years since I’ve seen him. He was awesome.

“February 2005
All big cities can be lonely places, full of frantic people isolated from everyone else. But in America, the Compliments Man is trying to spark a reconnection.

Every day for the past 14 years, Ron Miller stands on a street corner in Washington complimenting people. “He really picks out something that stands out about each person,” comments one friend. He’s become a valued local attraction, charming all the passers by.

Produced by ABC Australia
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures”

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If you have a photo of a neat find from your house or place of work please send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail.com thanks. To those who have I sent – I promise I’m working through the queue!

“Unearthed as part of the renovations of my U St row house. Based some internet research, the soda was named after James E. Crass, an early Coca-Cola franchisee, so at least there’s a reason for the odd name.”

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Streets of Washington, written by John DeFerrari, covers some of DC’s most interesting buildings and history. John is the author of Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats, published by the History Press, Inc. and also the author of Lost Washington DC.

The iconic Masonic Temple building on the northwest corner of 9th and F Streets NW was the first major private building to be constructed downtown after the Civil War, and it was an extraordinary achievement. Richly decorated inside and out and with a grand ballroom on the second floor, it was one of the city’s important cultural centers when it first opened its doors in 1869. The building had many lives, including as a bastion of the temperance movement in the early years of the 20th century and later as a furniture store. It would also become the first major building to be successfully protected by the District’s Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act of 1978.

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The old Masonic Temple on the northwest corner of 9th and F Streets NW (photo by the author).

The building was constructed as the headquarters for the local Grand Lodge of Masons. Freemasonry is a centuries-old tradition descended from medieval stone masons’ guilds that evolved into a strictly fraternal order dedicated to benevolent acts. Masons organize themselves into lodges, which are chartered by regional Grand Lodges. Masons were first active in Washington in the late 18th century and formed a Grand Lodge here in 1811. By the mid 19th century they were using a hall at 9th and D Streets NW and needed a larger, more prestigious building to house their meeting hall and headquarters. In 1864, as the Civil War raged, Congress gave them a charter to acquire and develop a site for a new hall. The association purchased the 9th and F Streets lot in 1865 and began raising funds to construct the building. The project was run strictly as a for-profit business, with funds raised by the sale of stock. Stockholders would earn income from rental of the building’s public spaces on the first and second floors. (more…)

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From an email:

“HISTORY DISCUSSION and DOCUMENTARY SCREENING
Upshur Street Books…………827 Upshur St., NW

Linda Crichlow White and Lois Cooper, both long-time residents of Petworth and graduates of good old Roosevelt will speak at the new Upshur Street Book Store on Sunday, March 22 at 4:30pm. Lois is the creator of “The Pride of Petworth” documentary. Linda, with her mother, is the author of Back, There, Then, a historical, genealogical memoir that includes memories of Petworth. Linda’s parents purchased their Petworth home in 1950.
Come and connect with us and with Petworth!

Bibliophile and Upshur Street Bookstore Manager, Anna Thorn will moderate the discussion.”